Summary of Performance Option in Lieu of Thesis
Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Master of Music
HEAR MY PRAYER: MUSIC FOR CHAMBER CHOIR
Aaron James Spencer
Chair: Willard Kesling
On November 9, 2007 I presented a recital of choral music at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in
downtown Gainesville. The program consisted of choral music written for small chamber choir, and was
specifically chosen based on the performance space and size of the choir. The acoustic at Holy Trinity
Episcopal is especially favorable to choral singing, and the choir's tone carries throughout the sanctuary.
The organ is easily capable of performing repertoire from a wide range of style periods.
The first half of the concert features Palestrina's simply and beautifully constructed Sicut cervus
sung from the back of the nave. The choir then moved to the front of the nave and performed Hear My
Prayer, a multi-section setting of Psalm 55 by Felix Mendelssohn. The work was written for soprano
solo, chamber choir, and organ accompaniment.
The second half of the concert contained works written for most a cappella chamber choir. The
first selection was Walking on the Green Grass by Michael Hennagin, followed by Aaron M. Zinter's
God of all the Nations. A jazz arrangement of a traditional madrigal followed with It was a lover and his
lass by John Rutter. We closed the recital with Samuel Barber's To Be Sung on the Water, followed by
another arrangement of John Rutter's, Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit.
This program contained selections of varied style and tempo, and represented both a cappella and
accompanied works featuring both the piano and the organ. The choir is made up of friends and
acquaintances from all over the State of Florida, all of whom volunteered their time.